Mesdames on the Move – Update for August

Editor, Mme Lynne Murphy, is on holiday from August 3 to 17th. She will be back with more news after Aug 18th.

13 O'Clock Launch Website1

On August 17th, 6:30 to 8 pm, the Mesdames of Mayhem are guests at Authors Night at Albert Campbell Branch, TPL, 496 Birchmount Road, Scarborough. The event brings together local authors and readers to mingle, exchange ideas and to learn about new books from established authors.

Seven Mesdames will be reading: Mmes Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Lisa DeNikolits, Cathy Dunphy, Rosemary McCracken, Jane Petersen Burfield and Sylvia Warsh. (Hence our group photo!)

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

This is Mme Rosemary McCracken’s summer! She was interviewed on Canoe 100.9 FM, the radio station in Raven Lake cottage country. Her interview airs on Wed Aug 17th at 6 pm and again on Friday, Aug 19th at 11 am.  If you miss these times, you can also listen to her full interview on the internet via this link.

51IDJYt589L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Rosemary’s latest book, Raven Lake, also received a great review from Jack Batten of the Toronto Star. Read Jack’s full review here.

And she was interviewed by the Minden Times, a Haliburton newspaper. Local readers may recognize some of the landmarks in Raven Lake though they don’t quite match up, having been transformed to serve the latest Pat Tierney mystery. Read Rosemary’s interview here.

More good news on the book front! New books by several Mesdames are launching this fall.  Mme Rosemary Aubert is releasing a collection of her short crime fiction under the title, The Last Boat to Polermo.  Mme M. H. Callway’s book,  Glow Grass, brings together her published short fiction, including two novellas. Both books are published by Carrick Publishing.

And our amazingly productive Mme Lisa DeNikolits launches her sixth novel, The Nearly Girl. (Inanna Publications)

Full details of all our launches and upcoming fall appearances will be in our September and October Mesdames on the Move newsletters.

And looking far ahead:  Mme Melodie Campbell’s latest book in her hilarious Goddaughter series, The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It launches in February, 2017.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIMESTONE EXPO: A Fab Cross Genre Conference

 Mme M. H. Callway attended Limestone Expo held in Kingston ON, July 23 to 24th.  This is the conference’s second year.

Here we reproduce her blog on the conference:

NEWS: Limestone Expo – Fab Cross Genre Con


Limestone Genre Expo, a 2-day conference for authors and fans of genre lit,  took place in Kingston, Ontario July 23-24th.  Organizers, Liz Strange, Delina MacDonald and Marlene Smith created the conference in 2015 to support Eastern Ontario writers of fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, YA and crime fiction.

Science fiction, fantasy, graphic and horror authors have intermingled for years at conferences like Comiccon, Fan Expo and When Words Collide.  Crime fiction is a relative new-comer to these events, but likely to become more popular in the intensifying search for readers and with the retirement of Canada’s late great national crime writing conference, Bloody Words.


Mme Mad with Windigo Fire

This was my first cross genre conference. Starting with a local conference proved to be both comfortable and enriching.  Several  of my crime writer friends were attending: among them Rob Brunet,  Vicki Delany, Madonna Skaff and Linda Wiken. And I have a deep affection for Kingston. I studied Chemistry at Queen’s University back when T. rex ruled the earth and OHIP was the major client of my IT consulting business.  Ed and I made a weekend of it, staying at the wonderful Rosemount Inn, a Victorian mansion which looks haunted and reputedly is.


Ira Nayman

My table mate in the vendor’s room was Ira Nayman,  political satirist, science fictioneer and aardvark lover. Ira generously helped me set up my book display and we had great conversations about life, the universe and everything when the author panels were running.

Brian Lindsay

Brian Lindsay

In the vendor’s room, I met Brian Lindsay, fellow crime writer and Arthur Ellis finalist for Best First Novel.  Brian is an imagist, chef and indie author of the Gilmore Island mysteries, set on an island near Westport, Ontario. Old Bones, which I’m enjoying now, is his first novel.

I also enjoyed meeting crime writer, poet, musician and reviewer, Bob Mackenzie.

The conference was a well- thought-out mix of panels, workshops, author readings.  There was a pitch session hosted by Five Rivers Publishing and a conversation with Jay Odjick, creator and executive producer of the animated TV show, Kagagi: The Raven.


Vicky Delany

Linda Wiken

Linda Wiken

Each genre had at least one panel specifically devoted to it. The crime fiction panel was “Modus Operandi, From Cozies to Private Eyes” , a broad topic to be sure, but a fine introduction of the genre to new readers.

Liz Strange had asked me to step in as moderator for the YA panel with authors: Y.S. Lee, Alyssa Cooper, Maureen McGowan, Kim McDougall and Suzanne Church. The facilities at the Kingston Frontenac Library were pretty good, but like many modern buildings, meeting rooms are scarce: one large upstairs space and two much smaller rooms, where you really got to know the audience!

YA is hot right now.  Virtually every literary agent is begging for it. Our audience was too large for the room and the fire marshal notwithstanding, everyone crowded in SRO. The panel graciously gave up their chairs to the audience and spent the entire hour’s discussion on their feet!


Madonna Skaff

Some observations about YA: people of all ages read it. Why? For the strong story lines, shorter book lengths and relatively uncomplicated language; in other words, a fast read.  YA many times deals with tough topics. Why? People see hard things on the media and through the internet every day. Parents can’t shield children as they once did. And the good news: Younger people are reading thanks to YA. Indeed research suggests most readers are younger than 35 or over 60!

Goth author Jen Frankel

Goth author Jen Frankel

Often, it seems that genre writers are silo-ed: crime writers mostly meet other crime writers and crime fiction readers. But conferences like Limestone Expo recognize that readers often read and love several different genres. And authors today share the same concerns. Panels were held on traditional vs. indie publishing, the portrayal of women, disability and LGBTQ2 identities.

My own panel, Monstrous Imaginings,  proved to be great fun. (The cross genre panel: Jen Frankel, Caroline Frechette, Evan May, Alyssa Cooper, Robin Riopelle and me.) The topic allowed us to freely interpret what “monsters” mean in crime fiction, romance, YA, horror, etc. We went a little wild and the audience seemed to enjoy that!

Liz Strange

Liz Strange

Liz plans to continue the conference next year.  Many thanks to Liz and the organizers for their hard work and a most enjoyable two days!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mesdames on the Move – Update for July

D. J. McIntosh

D. J. McIntosh

Mme D. J. McIntosh is just back from this year’s Thriller Fest held in New York City. Dorothy’s critically acclaimed thriller, The Angel of Eden, her third in the John Madison series, was one of five finalists for the ITW Award for Best Original Paperback.

Dorothy McIntosh - The Angel of Eden COVER

Dorothy is reading this Thursday, July 21st at 7 pm at Sauble Beach Library, 27 Community Centre Drive, Sauble Beach.  If you’re on holiday in Bruce County, don’t miss her!


M. H. Callway

M. H. Callway

Mme M. H. Callway will be one of 50 genre authors attending Limestone Genre Expo, being held July 23 and 24th, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson St., Kingston, Ontario.

12000831_10154197942864018_1649104801334232488_oMadeleine will be representing the thriller genre on the panel, Monstrous Imaginings as well as guest moderating the panel on Young Adult fiction.  Several fellow CWC authors will also be on panels, reading and / or running workshops, among them Rob Brunet,  Janet Kellough, Madonna Skaff and Linda Wiken. If you are in the Kingston area, do drop by!

Donna Carrick

Donna Carrick

Mme Donna Carrick’s (and husband Alex’s) labour of love, Footprints in the Sand, Woodland Beach Memories, is a terrific success. The print run ran out at the launch on July 16th.

Donna wrote about publishing this wonderful local history book in Mesdames of Mercy earlier this summer. Check out our archives for more.


NEWS FLASH: At least seven Mesdames of Mayhem will be guests at Authors Night held by the Scarborough Scribblers at Albert Campbell Branch, TPL,  6:30 pm, Wed August 17th.  More details next month!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mesdames of Mercy Part 3

This month, Mme. Catherine Dunphy, shares her experiences volunteering with the Out Of The Cold program. Mme. Dunphy  was nominated for a Governor General’s Award for her biography, Morgentaler: A Difficult Hero.

Maybe it ‘s because I was embarrassed. My neighbours — some of them– fought hard and dirty to try and stop an Out Of The Cold program from starting up at the huge Tudor-style church at the end of our street. When their battle made the papers (front page and just before Christmas) we were described as a “toney” Beach neighbourhood determined to keep out twelve — count ’em — homeless people.


Maybe it’s because I was feeling guilty. As a Toronto Star reporter, I was the first journalist in Canada assigned to a homelessness reporting beat. My idea. My bosses and I believed that all we had to do was raise awareness — show people the hidden homeless, the aboriginal homeless, the addicted homeless, the runaway teen, battered mothers — and governments would act, all would be well and no one would ever have to sleep on a street grate again.

I had long since left the beat (which was dissolved with its mission not accomplished) when I signed on to volunteer at the Out of the Cold program at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church. Hey, with my creds, I figured they would certainly want me, But there were literally hundreds in my community who also wanted to work there and I waited until the second winter before being accepted. I figured out why after I got my assignment. I had the job of monitoring the line-up outside. The idea was that the neighbours who were still fighting the program and on the alert for any misdemeanors, would see me — one of their own — and cease and desist.  Which eventually did happen, but not because of me.

Always the lineup started hours before the doors opened at 4 pm, a fact noted by the OOTC foes who complained that the motley men were upsetting to the daycare kids or anyone on their way to the beach.  What they didn’t notice was the system  — worked out by the guys themselves. Every week, a genial, gentle homeless man named George, wearing a tuque, was first in line. Always he brought with him a wrinkled scrap of paper and a pen.  Every week, he wrote numbers down on the paper.  One to twelve.  Then to 16, 20, finally 25 — as the program grew. The men (and yes, a few, but very few women) signed up as they arrived. The paper and pen were kept in a tin can by the side of the door. They respected the system. They didn’t cheat it, didn’t scratch out a name at, say, the #3 spot, and insert their own. Didn’t pretend they’d signed in when they hadn’t.

George always stayed close to the door but a lot of the guys signed in on the scrap, then took off. They were well aware they were under neighbourhood surveillance. As long as they were back by 4 pm they had their bed.  After that,  the chances were good that someone else would fill their spot.  They were pretty motivated to come back.  The St. Aidan’s OOTC was getting very popular in the homeless circuit, becoming known as a culinary hotspot. Local businesses seemed to be in competition as to who could donate the most — and the tastiest — food. And that was just for the afternoon snacks. Every week, different groups cooked up feasts for 65, after a lot of people started coming round just for the food. Those who got a bed also got a huge hot breakfast and a packed lunch.

While waiting for all this, a surprising number ended up in the green leather chairs in the library reading the day’s newspapers. Once I saw one of “our guys” (as I called them; the official OOTC term is “guests”) reading A  History of Sugar, a book written by Elizabeth Abbott, a friend of mine. I was thrilled. So was she, when I told her.

But look, some used to go for beers — especially if the welfare cheques had come in. A few of them wouldn’t make it on time and would pound on the locked door late at night. Others returned too loud, too boozed up, too ornery to be let in. Some showed up with rolling, drugged-up eyes demanding but never getting shelter. Lots of the volunteers learned how to diffuse these situations, but there were what I call flash fights, the kind that come out of nowhere. Savage. Not that many, but it only takes one to endanger the program. Or a guest. One winter someone smashed in the window on a side door to the church. A few years ago, one fight involved the jagged edge of a bottle.  You called the cops for these.

 Not my guys.  Like George, they stayed on the church grounds most of the afternoon. We’d talk. Nothing heavy or too personal,  just stuff about the weather, the Leafs or something from the news — the way you’d chat with any neighbour. Sure, they smelled, some of them, their nails and knuckles caked in grime –and they glared at you and were furtive and often so on edge they were like a powder keg,  but they also raked and bagged leaves in the fall and cleared the sidewalks of snow and ice in winter.

 It was hard for the OOTC foes to complain then. So they pretty much stopped.

 Several years ago, we began to let the guys inside the church an hour or so early to wait for the program doors to open. They never complained — never — but there were too many days when it was simply inhuman to be out in the cold, waiting. Besides, they had proven themselves. When we started the new system of having them line up in the basement hallway where we offered them hot chocolate and biscuits, we also tried giving out numbered tickets. But they didn’t like it and, really,  we didn’t either. Their way — George’s way — was still the best. So once again they signed their names on George’s scrap of paper with George’s pen. They waited for  4 pm, when I would call their name and number so they could enter the room, two by two, register, pick up their bedding and claim their bed. No pushing, no shoving, no queue jumping. But if I called out the wrong name to a number, oh boy, did they correct me.

Two winters ago, things changed again. George was not at the head of the line. Some time between the end of the OOTC program in April and its startup in November, George had died. All of us at the St. Aidan’s OOTC were devastated. Strange but you start to count on seeing the same old faces every season.

There’s a framed picture of George in his tuque on top of the fridge in the room where the volunteers leave coats and purses. I always stop and look at it.

At him.

A really nice guy named Richard is always at the head of the line now and brings the paper and pen. He was a friend of George; he knows how to carry on.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mesdames on the Move: July and August

News and Awards

D. J. McIntosh

D. J. McIntosh

We are super-proud of Mme Dorothy McIntosh. Her  archeological thriller, The Angel of Eden, is one of the five finalists for the prestigious International Thriller Writer award for Best Paperback Original Novel.  John Madison’s latest adventure is the third in her Mesopotamian series which has been published all over the world and translated into several languages.

Dorothy McIntosh - The Angel of Eden COVER


The winner will be announced at this year’s ThrillerFest to be held in New York, July 5 to 9th.  Dorothy will be attending the conference and we’re crossing our fingers that her latest John Madison adventure will be the winner with many more adventures to follow!


Meet the Mesdames

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

On Wednesday, June 29th, 7 pm, Mme Mel Campbell, our Queen of Comedy, will be interviewing acclaimed British thriller writer, Peter James, at A Different Drummer Bookstore, 513 Locust Avenue, Burlington.


Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

On the same evening, Wednesday, June 29th, Mmes M. H. Callway and Rosemary McCracken join fellow CWC authors, Sharon Crawford and Michael McPherson at the S. Walter Stewart Branch, TPL, to share with the East End Writers how to create short stories that sparkle! S. Walter Stewart Branch is located at 170 Memorial Park Ave. , Toronto.  Rosemary’s third novel, Raven Lake, was published in early June and her recent short story, “Crazy”, appeared in the noir anthology, Black Coffee.

The Mesdames were out en masse  Saturday, June 25th for the print launch of Raven Lake at Sleuth of Baker Street.  Thanks to Sleuth’s owner, Marian Misters, and to Mme. Joan O’Callaghan for her kayak cookies.


Sharon Crawford is the author of the Beyond mystery series. Michael McPherson is an award-winning crime short story author, novelist, blogger and leader in self-publishing.


M. H. Callway

On Thursday, July 14th,  6 pm, at Sleuth of Baker Street, 907 Millwood Rd, Toronto, Mme M. H. Callway joins fellow noir authors, Rob Brunet and John McFetridge in celebrating the launch of award-winning Sam Wiebe’s new book, The Invisible Dead. All four authors will be reading from their latest works. Mme Mad will be reading from Windigo Fire.


61lQhbEJDeL         12000831_10154197942864018_1649104801334232488_o                       51-aSWSKWxL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_51796NlIUeL__SX321_BO1,204,203,200_


On Wednesday, August 17th, 6:30 pm, several the Mesdames of Mayhem will be at the Albert Campbell Branch, TPL, for their monthly Authors Series. The Mesdames will mingle with the local writing group, the Scarborough Scribblers and mystery fans before entertaining everyone with a free-flowing discussion about Canadian crime fiction and the challenges faced by women authors. And of course, readings and refreshments!!

Join Mmes Rosemary Aubert, Jane Burfield, M. H. Callway, Lisa de Nikolits, Catherine Dunphy, Rosemary McCracken and Sylvia Maultash Warsh for this fine summer evening.

We have combined our July and August Mesdames on the Move as we expect to be less busy with outreach in August and concentrating more on cottage life, travel and our own writing. Watch for Mesdames of Mercy in mid-July when Mme. Catherine Dunphy writes about her work with the Out of the Cold program in Toronto.





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mesdames of Mercy Part 2

What We Do In the Sunlight:

Our May 9th blog featured Mesdames  M. H. Callway, Rosemary McCracken, Joan O`Callaghan and Catherine Astolfo  writing about their volunteer activities.  This month, Mesdames Donna Carrick, Melodie Campbell and Caro Soles describe what they do in the community.

From Mme. Donna Carrick

Donna Carrick

Donna Carrick

As most of you know, my family and I spend most of our free time at a blessed corner of this grand world known as Woodland Beach.  Woodland Beach is nestled on the northeast edge of stunning Georgian Bay, and looks directly across the water at Blue Mountain and some of the most inspiring sunsets ever to grace a skyline.

When I was approached by the Woodland Beach Historical Committee last summer (on the beach, no less), I was thrilled to learn of the book they were working on. Co-authors Margaret E. Robertson and Tracey (Gayle) Price had heard that Carrick Publishing might be able to help with some of the trickier aspects of print publication, and wondered if I would be willing to volunteer.

 Since the Carrick family enjoys a nearly 100-year connection to this part of Ontario, I was tickled to be involved in what has quickly become a rich and deeply personal historical project. Footprints in the Sand — Woodland Beach Memories will be launched 1-Woodland Front and Backthis summer, and is already a source of enormous pride to Carrick Publishing!


 Mme. Carrick and her husband, Alex, are the publishers of the Mesdames’ anthologies, Thirteen and Thirteen o’clock.


From Mme. Caro Soles:

FullSizeRenderI  love dachshunds. Their loyalty, their lively  personalities, their affection and stubbornness. I have always had a dachshund or two and several years ago when I became aware of Canadian Dachshund Rescue through their website,,  I wanted to help. I found out about the horrors of puppy mills, here in Ontario, in Quebec and in the U.S. I leapt into events in malls and pet stores, raising money for vet bills and awareness of what we do.

The group takes in owner surrenders, from people who can no longer look after their pets, we take in the dogs rescued in the raids on puppy mills, poor shell shocked creatures who need space and love and a slow introduction to how good life can be before they are adopted. I drive in some of the transports, coming up each weekend with abandoned dogs of all breeds looking for homes. And I foster these dogs, taking them to the vet for spaying or neutering, deworming, dental work, and anything else that needs doing. Sometimes major surgery is needed. Sometimes just teeth pulled. But always they need to know that they are loved. It takes time, sometimes a long time, but these dogs once won over are very loving and repay the effort big time by growing confident and able to live a good life, often for the first time.

I have always done a lot of volunteer work, from sitting on the Board of the AIDS Committee of Toronto to directing a children’s choir for a church, to founding Bloody Words. A labour of love always always pays back! Right now, I get a lot of licks and tail wags. And that is more than enough.

 Mme. Soles is the editor of the anthology, nEvermore, which has been short listed for numerous awards.

From Mme. Melodie Campbell:

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell

Pay it forward.
That’s what my novel mentor, Michael Crawley, once said to me, years ago in the 1990s.  At the time it didn’t ever seem like I would have anything TO pay back!  Such is the business of publishing.  But time has been kind and my tenth novel came out last week.

I do two things for charity:

1.  The Hamilton Literacy Council
When Orca Books asked me to write for the Rapid Reads series, they also told me these books were used at the high end of ESL and literacy training.  I decided to visit a place where they were indeed used: the Hamilton Literacy Council.  There, I met staff, volunteer tutors, and adult students struggling to read.  It wasn’t long before my heart was captured by the people I came to know.  The students, particularly.

I wanted to do more than just write fun books for them by which they might improve their reading.  So I include the council and the students in my book launches.  I donate all the books that are sold at my book launches to the Hamilton Literacy Council.  This year, we sold 40 books.  All told, we’ve sold over 200, and donated over $2000.  My hope is that with this money, the council can buy more books by other authors that their students would like to read.

2.  The Burlington Humane Society
Animals are close to my heart.  I’m a professional event planner by trade, and my daughter follows in my footsteps.  She is the Event Coordinator for the Burlington Humane Society, and I am her volunteer second-in-command.  It’s a thrilling ‘circle of life’ moment for me.  Not only am I helping her to raise money at large fundraising events such as The Black Cat Masquerade Gala, but I get to see regularly the good that our fundraising does to help rescue and place lonely and discarded animals.

Mme. Campbell is the award winning author of the Goddaughter series. Her most recent novel is The Goddaughter Caper.

In our next Mesdames of Mercy blog, we will feature Mme. Catherine Dunphy writing on her work with the Out of the Cold program.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet Rosemary McCracken’s Pat Tierney


Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

51IDJYt589L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Mme. Rosemary McCracken’s third Pat Tierney mystery, Raven Lake, was released by Imajin Books on June 1. The e-book was feted at a Facebook party Friday, June 3, and a traditional bookstore party for paperback will take place on Saturday June 25 at Sleuth of Baker Street in Toronto.


This week, Mme. Lynne Murphy, talks to Pat about her life in Rosemary’s novels.

FULL DISCLOSURE FROM LYNNE: I have been in a writing group with Rosemary for more than 15 years, and I know Pat well. In fact I look on her as one of my nieces. So I must be forgiven if I get a bit nosey in this interview. That’s how you treat family members.

L.M.:  Pat, you are a sensible, professional woman. How do you manage to get involved with so many criminal types? 

Pat: Much of my involvement comes from the kind of work I do. I’m a financial advisor, so I’m well-positioned to spot white-collar crime. In Safe Harbor, red flags went up for me when a rookie financial advisor was given a large investment account to manage. And when I looked closely at that account, I saw that a sizeable part of its assets were invested in slowpoke stocks. Things didn’t add up. And when things don’t add up for a financial advisor, something is very wrong.

L.M.: You’ve faced many problems in recent years—the death of your husband; learning about his love affair, then adopting his young son who resulted from that affair; your daughter, Tracy, living in a same-sex relationship; and now your teenage daughter, Laura, expecting a baby. How do you cope with it all? 

Pat: Those have been stressful situations, and I’ve had no choice but to accept them. But, to keep my sanity, I try to look at the bright side. Michael is gone and nothing will bring him back, but his son Tommy is a dear boy, as you know if you’ve read Rosemary’s books, and I’m delighted that he’s now part of our family. Tracy is in a stable relationship with a good woman, and I’m standing by her choice of a partner. Laura is young to be raising a child, and she doesn’t want to marry at this point. I’ll do my best to help her, and I’ll see that she goes back to school next year. My kids are healthy, mentally stable, and they stand to live happy, useful lives. Hey, I can’t really ask for too much more!

L.M.: What is your best quality? 

Pat: I’ve been told that my fierce loyalty to my family and those I love is my best trait. Rosemary puts out a tweet that says, “Pat Tierney will do anything to keep her family safe…ANYTHING!” Hey, that’s how it should be, isn’t it? You do whatever you can for those you love.

L.M.:  You also have a strong social conscience. Can you comment on some of the issues that have been raised in the books? 

Pat: The issue that comes up frequently in the books is fraud: investment fraud and other kinds of fraud. The financial industry deals with money, and therefore provides an opportunity for people who are clever and greedy enough to challenge the system. I’m a champion of small investors who can get taken by financial fraudsters. I want to see these crooks weeded out and punished. I want tougher penalties for their crimes. The system in Canada is currently too soft on offenders.

I don’t like to see anyone getting a raw deal. The refugees in Safe Harbor—my heart went out to those poor people who were forced to leave their homelands, and were terrorized in Canada where they thought they’d be safe and free. The victims of the cottage rental scams in Raven Lake—vacationers sent their money to these fraudsters in good faith and lost their funds and their holiday lodgings; and elderly property owners who were terrified when would-be renters turned up at their doors.

L.M.: Detective Inspector Stewart Foster often accuses you of being too nosey for your own good. What other qualities do you wish you could change?

Pat: Well, I’d take what Foster says in this regard with a grain of salt. I’ve shown him up more than a few times. In Raven Lake, he’d pegged Bruce Stohl as his prime suspect in the murder of Bruce’s mother, and he refused to look elsewhere. I had to be nosey to help Bruce.

I suppose there are a few things I could work on. My daughter Laura calls me “the world’s biggest pushover.” She complains that I let people walk right over me, and she’s probably right. But I like to be generous wheneverI can. So I don’t think I’m about to change.

L.M.: What’s happened to that nice man, Devon Shaughnessy, who was in your life for a time? 

Pat: Devon’s my Mr. Right Now when he can get up to Canada from Connecticut where he runs his software company. Lately, though, we’ve both been too busy to travel. And, by the way, I’m happy to spend time with a Mr. Right Now. But I’m not looking for a Mr. Right.

L.M.: Where can readers find this new book and the others? 

Pat: They can check out Raven Lake at Safe Harbor is at And Black Water is at These are universal links that will take readers the Amazon stores in their own countries.



Toronto journalist Rosemary McCracken writes the Pat Tierney mystery series. Safe Harbor, the first novel in the series, was shortlisted for Britain’s Debut Dagger Award in 2010. It was published by Imajin Books in 2012, followed by Black Water in 2013. “The Sweetheart Scamster,” a Pat Tierney short story in the crime fiction anthology, Thirteen, was a finalist for a 2014 Derringer Award. Raven Lake, the third Pat Tierney mystery novel, has just been released. Jack Batten, The Toronto Star’s crime fiction reviewer, calls Pat “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.”



Here are links for the books mentioned in the blurb above. The first three are universal links for Amazon, which means whoever clicks on them will reach the Amazon in his/her own country.. Thirteen’s is a link to

Safe Harbor:

Black Water:

Raven Lake:




Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mesdames on the Move-June


The Arthur Ellis Awards were held at the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto on Thursday, May 26th. Most of of the Mesdames were there to celebrate: Mmes Cathy Astolfo, Rosemary Aubert, M. H. Callway, Melodie Campbell, Donna Carrick, Cathy Dunphy, Rosemary McCracken, Joan O’Callaghan, Jane Petersen Burfield and Sylvia Warsh.

Finalist-400Mme M. H. Callway’s story, “Glow Grass”,  in the Mesdames latest anthology, 13 O’clock, was nominated for Best Novella. This marks Mad’s third nomination for an Arthur Ellis award and  more critical recognition for fabulous Carrick Publishing, run by the equally fabulous Mme Donna Carrick and husband, Alex Carrick.


Caro Soles

Caro Soles

mesdames-jane-burfield2-icon Square

Jane Petersen Burfield

Mme Caro Soles and her partner in crime, Nancy Kirkpatrick’s Poe tribute anthology, Nevermore, won the Paris Book Prize for Best Anthology. Congratulations, Caro and Nancy! Nevermore was also short-listed for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Anthology.

Nevermore contains stories by many Canadian authors, including Mme Jane Burfield whose gothic tale received very positive critical acclaim.


Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

June is turning out to be Mme Rosemary McCracken’s month! Her third Pat Tierney mystery, Raven Lake,  is being launched and her story, “Crazy” was reprinted in the new noir anthology, Black Coffee.

Raven Lake will be released in e-book on June 1st on all Amazons. Readers may access their e-copy of the book through this universal link. (It is up for pre-orders at a special low price until then).

Rosemary will be hosting the cyber launch of Raven Lake on Sunday, June 5th from 4 to 7 pm. Join in through Facebook on the events page here. Rosemary will be on hand to answer questions and to award prizes throughout the celebration!


51IDJYt589L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Running up to the cyber launch, from June 1 to 7th,  Rosemary will be doing a blog tour, visiting Sylvia Kerslake in England; Sharon Crawford in Toronto; Imajin Books in Kelowna, B.C.; Judy Penz Sheluk in Alliston, Ont., Chris Redding in New Jersey; Madeleine Harris-Callway in Toronto; the Mesdames of Mayhem in southern Ontario; and Kristina Stanley in British Columbia.

On Saturday June 25, 2-4 pm, she will be having the print launch of Raven Lake at the Mesdames’ favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street.  Be sure to join her and several Mesdames for the party!


 51EWNWzdQtL__SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Rosemary’s story, “Crazy”, is one of the noir stories in the anthology, Black Coffee  , published by Darkhouse Books. In it, two characters play out a psychological endgame in the world of illegal immigrants. “Crazy” first appeared in a collection of Canadian cross-cultural stories entitled Mother Margaret and the Rhinocerous Café.

Darkhouse Books publishes 3 or 4 collections of stories a year. Rosemary’s story, “Plastic Paddies” appeared in the 2015 Destination Mystery anthology.

Black Coffee  is now available on Amazon.




10419501_325718907604401_7696081584635770564_nOn June 2nd, Mme Rosemary McCracken will be reading at Noir at the Bar together with authors Giles Blunt, John McFetridge, June Lorraine Roberts and several writers of noir. The readings will be at 7 pm at the Wallace Gastropub, 1954 Yonge Street, Toronto.


M. H. Callway

On June 11th & 12th, Mme M. H. Callway joins 4000+ other cyclists to bike 200+ km from Toronto to Niagara Falls to raise money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in the 2016 Ride to Conquer Cancer.

On June 29th, 7 pm Mmes M.H. Callway and Rosemary McCracken join fellow CWC member, Sharon Crawford, to discuss the art of short story writing with the East End Writers at S. Walter Stewart Branch,  Toronto Public Library, 170 Memorial Park Ave.

And on June 30th, 1:30 pm, our Queen of Comedy, Mme Melodie Campbell,  will be reading at the Mimico Public Library, 47 Station Road, Etobicoke.

Melodie Campbell

Melodie Campbell




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mesdames of Mercy

You may think that the Mesdames of Mayhem spend  their time thinking up ways to eliminate people in the most gruesome possible manner but this is not always true. We are also out there in the community, doing our best to help our fellow human beings. For some of us, it is fund raising, for others it is physical help but we all have projects that are dear to our hearts. Read on to see the  kinder, gentler side of the Mesdames.

From Mme. M.H. Callway:

Madeleine Harris-CallwayIn 2008, a close family friend, who’s an accomplished cyclist, told us about a new charity event: a 200+ km bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls to support cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital. We had both lost many friends and family members to this horrible disease, so I jumped at the chance.

Our first Ride to Conquer Cancer was a life-changing event. People of all ages and levels of fitness took part, riding pricy racing machines to old clunkers they’d hauled out of the garage. Traffic control was handled by a (friendly) motor cycle club. Route signs and riders – including me – got lost. The route itself was super hilly and tough. But together we all raised $14 million!

Since 2008, the Ride has gone from strength to strength, raising $140 million to date, making it one of the most successful fundraising events in Canadian history!!

Today nearly 5000 riders raise a minimum of $2500 each to participate in the 2-day event. The police handle traffic control although the motor cycle club still helps out. And the route has far fewer hills.

Best of all, cancer research supported by the Ride has helped treat – and cure – many patients at PMH, including personal friends of ours.

This June will be my 9th Ride. I thank my many wonderful supporters for their generous donations year after year. And I intend to keep going as long as my quads let me!

From Mme. Rosemary McCracken:

Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken

I volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, an organization that brings emergency food, clothing and furniture relief to the poor. Vincentians operate out of Catholic parishes, but we don’t just help parishioners. Social Services refers people from all backgrounds who are in need in our area to us.

Since I’ve been doing this (for about 8 years), I’ve become painfully aware of the neediness in our city. Making food deliveries on Saturday mornings, I’ve been to apartments with no furniture—just mattresses on the floor. I’ve been to illegal rental units you wouldn’t want a dog to live in. Some of the people we’ve helped just had temporary setbacks and were able to turn their situations around. But the vast majority have mental or substance abuse problems, and will need ongoing assistance.

Mme. McCracken’s newest mystery, Raven Lake, will be launched on  June 1st on line and on June 25th at Sleuth of Baker Street.

From Mme. Catherine Astolfo:

Many of my volunteer hours have, at this writing, gone to my local library. That sounds very self-serving and, in many ways, it is. However, I have given writing courses and panels for free in order to encourage new writers, so I feel good about that.

Cathy Astolfo

Cathy Astolfo

I also volunteered for my local political party during election time. Also self-serving, since I ran into some characters I can use in stories one of these days. I’m also part of a group called Positive Energy Practice, which does presentations in schools to inspire self-confidence. I give my time without compensation for the writing, planning and meetings. My grandson and I have also applied to volunteer for our local Food Bank, picking up and delivering donations. That should keep me busy and add more characters to the list, I should think. As long as they accept a crime writer!

Mme. Astolfo’s newest mystery, Operation Babylift,  was launched May 14th.

From Mme. Joan O’Callaghan:

Joan O'Callaghan

Joan O’Callaghan

Every year I participate in a crafting weekend  as a fundraiser for cancer research.  It is called Crop for the Cure, as most participants, myself included, are scrapbookers.  Originally, this weekend was held in support of women’s cancers but more recently has expanded its mandate to include all cancers.We meet at a location in Oakville.  In addition to the registration fee which covers expenses for the weekend, we are required to raise a minimum of $50 for cancer research.  We craft, play games, and bid on silent auction and door prize items donated by local merchants, and generally have a good time.  And the food, which is plentiful, is always good!! My favourite game is Chocolate Bar Bingo.  One “pays” two chocolate bars per card.  Twice I have won the “full card” game, which netted me about 40 chocolate bars each time.  I am forced to share my winnings with my sister who hasn’t been so lucky!

Mme. O’Callaghan will be signing her late husband’s memoir, Maverick Publisher:J. Patrick O’Callaghan, at Chapters in the Bayview Mall on Saturday, May 28th.

More on the Mesdames of Mercy in June.


News Flash from Mme. Cheryl Freedman, Co- Organizer of this year’s Bony Blithe Awards:

skeleton w book in hand and books in bg final w shadowOnly 5 days left to register for the 2016 Bony Blithe Mini-Con plus Award Banquet and Birthday Party.

Yes, my criminous friends, a mini-con featuring (a) two panels (run consecutively), (b) books for sale, (c) autographs to score, (d) nibblies throughout the afternoon, (e) the award banquet/birthday party in the evening, and, of course, (f) a great chance to get together with friends from far and near to schmooze.

Our first panel has our finalists reimagining their light mysteries as thrillers or police procedurals.  Our second panel, which includes Mme Mel Campbell, explores whether dark and light mysteries are points on a continuum or two sides of a coin.

The event runs from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 27, and is at the High Park Club, 100 Indian Road, Toronto. The club is easy to get to by transit or by car, and it has lots of FREE onsite parking. And the bar prices at the club are anything but criminal.

The cost for all this fun is only $50. To register and pay, visit  If you are buying more than one ticket, email to tell us the other person’s meal choice. If you don’t want to pay by Paypal, email to arrange another way to register and pay.

See you on May 27 for a grand afternoon and evening of law and disorder!




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baking, Happiness and Crime

Lisa De Nikolits

This week, Mme. Lisa de Nikolits writes about her new venture,  a self help cookbook, entitled Bake Your Way to Happiness. Lisa’s  novel, Between the Cracks She Fell, recently won a bronze IPPY for Contemporary Fiction.


The six degrees of separation between baking, happiness and crime

There I was, writing about one of my most objectionable and nasty characters to date. The book is titled Rotten Peaches — you get the picture – this dame ain’t nice!

 What exactly does she do? Well, apart from being a morally nihilistic, self-indulgent narcissist, she inspired me to put together a self-help cookbook called Bake Your Way to Happiness. So I guess she can’t be all bad!


It’s really ironic that this joyful book came from such a nefarious origin. The character is, of course, a work of fiction, and she steals her recipes; she is a shameless thief. She does get caught in the end and she pays the price, I will say that.

She is also a therapist, but there’s more than one screw loose in her wacky head — so the scenario couldn’t be more different to the real cookbook which is out now (and available on Amazon. Just click the links here– shameless promo insert!)

The real cookbook has an awesome therapist, Marilyn Riesz, and an amazing food editor, Gilean Watts as the contributing authors.  They are two of the nicest people you are ever likely to meet!

This is a great example of how fiction and real life  are not the same thing at all – a seed planted in one will germinate into a completely different animal in the other.  That Rotten Peaches was the seed of origin for Bake Your Way to Happiness is in itself quite comical!

In Rotten Peaches, the protagonist pens a number of Bake Your Way books; Bake Your Way to a Great Career, Bake Your Way to Mr. Right (or Ms. Right), Bake Your Way to a Happy Family and others. I can’t see the three of us doing any more of the books; we covered so much ground in this one by way of recipes and therapy.

 The mouth-wateringly delicious recipes and associated therapy chapters include: How To Find Happiness (Melt Your Heart Blueberry Scones) ; Shower Yourself With Love (Coconut Whipped Cream Cake With Fluffy Icing) ; Achieve The Success You Want (Never-Fail Fudge); and Get A Good Night’s Sleep (Classic Biscuits).

 When it came to the publishing side, I approached my wonderful publisher, Inanna, who said that while they don’t do self-help books, they thought it was a fabulous idea and that I should definitely pursue it.

So I did. I decided to self-publish it, for a number of reasons. Primarily, I was interested in checking out the quality of self-publishing. I was dubious, I will be honest, but I was extremely (and most pleasantly) surprised. The paper quality, the colours, the glossy cover, the sharpness of the typography and crispness of the artwork are all fantastic.

 I will add that while I had the idea for the book, I had no part in the actual writing of it. I left that to Marilyn and Gilean as this was their area of expertise. I put on my art directing and design hat and happily set out trying to make the book look as beautiful as I could.

 I worked with a large format (11 inches high by 8.5 wide) so that the book will also be a personal journal of each person’s path to happiness. We want this book to be a gift to each person who holds it. Our lives are so hectic and filled with so much stress, we would love for this book to be a sanctuary, a place where one can go after a harried day and connect with peace and happiness.

 So truly, could anything be more different to its evil twin, Rotten Peaches? I say never mind — and who can really understand or explain the six degrees of separation in life?

 We have a website that we hope you will visit, with more about us and more about the book: and follow the Amazon links on this page.  

If you have any questions at all, please email me, I’d love to chat, or find me on Facebook, or LinkedIn.

















Between The Cracks She Fell called ‘a must-read’ by Canadian Living magazine!
Winner of IPPY 2016 Bronze Medal for Contemporary Fiction (, print and kindle) (, print and kindle)
Or order directly from Inanna:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment